Genealogy process update


Almost a year ago, I started using Family Tree Maker because I was tired of doing double entries between and Reunion 10. I downloaded my online tree and then reconciled it with my Reunion 10 database. There were many conflicts and problems. In a way this was good because it forced me to look at what I had. After weeks of work, I was ready to move forward working in FTM and syncing it to Ancestry. I was happy.

Then Ancestry announced that it would discontinue FTM. I was not happy. My old Reunion 10 software looked so clunky. And now there was an expensive upgrade to Reunion 11 if I wanted the latest and greatest, and I always do. However, MacFamilyTree capitalized on the FTM kerfuffle by running a special on their mostly praised software, so I bought that for much less than the Reunion upgrade.

I started cleaning up my database again to import it into MacFamilyTree, but then I thought screw it, I’ll just do the Genealogy Do Over thing and start again, working on one family line at a time. It will be simpler. And it was simple, but it was also boring and repetitive. It’s one thing to check your sources but doing over research you actually know is fine is tedious. None of us are getting younger. And the more I worked with MacFamilyTree, the more I disliked the labor-intensive way it handles sources. It seems like whatever you do requires three clicks. I did like the one chronological stream of events and facts for each person, but I have for that. (Reunion splits events and facts into two separate screens on separate tabs!)

I finally ponied up and paid for the Reunion 11 upgrade. At least it is familiar and I know how it works. (I’ve used versions of Reunion for at least ten years.) I like that it identifies “islands” of unrelated people in my database. I am having an issue with how it displays images: some of mine show up inside the program with weird pastel artifacts splattered across them. I’ve checked and the actual files aren’t affected, so it doesn’t really matter. There seem to be a lot of new reports but I tend to write my own histories. For the moment I am back to working my way slowly through one family at a time, and back to double entries using Reunion and Ancestry. It’s like I’ve trotted around in a big expensive circle to get back to where I started. I write this out to remind myself to stop software shopping and just research. I’m going to start with the Hegarty line and go from there.

This week has been full of genealogy connections though. Today, another Newfoundland researcher messaged me to send along a photo she’d taken of a photo of my Coombs great-great-grandparents. It was so exciting to see them and all the family resemblances! (It’s not my photo and I’m not sure how people feel about sharing it online so I’m not posting it here.) Also, a fourth cousin contacted me on Ancestry about the Costigans. I had privatized my online tree while I was sorting things out but now it’s public again, so I guess I’m back to researching.

So many hobbies, so little time.

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